Broadcast 2445 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Dr. Bruce Damer. Topics: The Shepherd concept for asteroids/icy planetesimals as a possible stepping stone for sustainable human spaceflight. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed Dr. Bruce Damer back to the show to discuss his new concept for enclosing an asteroid with a Xenon gas filled enclosure, the Shepherd concept, to help make human spaceflight sustainable. During the first segment of our 83 minute program, Dr. Damer introduced us to the concept, compared it to the NASA ARM baggie option as well as the boulder option, plus the private sector potential for the mission even without NASA. You can read the paper we talked about during the show which was recently published in New Space, "Shepherd: A Concept for Gentle Asteroid Retrieval with a Gas-Filled Enclosure" at During this segment, Dr. Damer talked about capturing fuel in space and talked about a demo project, possibly in LEO. Doug emailed in several questions and comments about the NASA ARM video, then asking if Dr. Damer's idea could be used to extract the most valuable volatile thus only having to bring back a portion of the asteroid. Don't miss what Bruce had to say in response to Doug's comments and questions. Claire in Boston emailed in to voice her unhappiness with ARM and the fact that many others like her did not like the mission. She asked Bruce what the value was even with his idea rather than using the resources for returning to the Moon or going to Mars. Bruce suggested the mission would produce excellent science and enhance commercial spaceflight. Again, don't miss his full answer to Claire's question. One of the later topics in this segment dealt with forces on the asteroid in the baggie concept that could possibly destroy the asteroid. He explained why Shepherd would probably be different. In the second segment, Dr. Damer talked about the Shepherd mining variant, the Shepherd biological variant, and the Shepherd fuel variant. I asked him if this was similar to 3D printing in space and he said it was, then he explained his answer. He also said the founders of the Shepherd idea were putting it out to everyone as Open Source as he said would be valuable to give it away to industry. Later he said the most likely to develop this technology would be NewSpace entrepreneurs. Jim in Denver emailed in about the applicability of Shepherd to human spaceflight to Mars. Here, Bruce talked about orbiting Shepherd models supplying the surface group below. He also said being on the surface may not be the best way to set up a settlement but listen to the total scope of his comments on this subject. He even cited Von Braun, Bonestell, Willy Ley and others for depicting this idea using a Mars transfer orbit. Tim called in with several questions about short period asteroid. When asked for concluding comments, Bruce said he was very excited about Shepherd as it represented 35 years of simulation and other work and now he was meeting with the right people with the right skills to make a project like this happen. Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Dr. Damer through me.



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31 Mar 2015 Dr. Bruce Damer
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